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Psionics in Greyhawk
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airwalkrr
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Psionics in Greyhawk Reply with quote

In 1st edition, psionics was part of the game (albiet not so often used). In 2nd edition, it became more of an option and 3.5 continues that trend. Since 1e cannot be divorced from Greyhawk, it therefore stands to reason that psionics was, at least originally in EGG's mind, a part of Greyhawk. Do you think it is supposed to be part of Greyhawk or not, regardless of whether you think 3.5 psionics is overpowered (some think it is, others do not)? I am trying to make a decision on whether to allow psionics (in a limited fashion) in my next Greyhawk campaign and some discourse with fellow Hawkers would help me make my decision.
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Anced_Math
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never enjoyed psionics in the setting. Other than a few experiments in the earliest days, it has never been included. IIRC the psionics rules were an appendix to the The Players Handbook, and not an integrated part f the rules.
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airwalkrr
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually that is true. They were an appendix. But we always rolled for psionic ability anyway. :)
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've mostly relegated psionics to monsters such as mind flayers, githyanki, and such.

I found that in 1e psionics were very overpowering. One instance really stands out. A paladin character had crazy psionics. Nobody understood how sick they were until he made a Vrock's head explode in 8 segments without drawing his holy sword or even blinking. Thereafter, PC psionics were banned in our 1e play, and it was limited to only the critters that had it. In 2e things got better with the introduction of a full system for psionics, and they are okay in 3e+.

With regards to Greyhawk, I currently limit psionics hugely, and then they are mostly a discipline taken up by followers of Xan Yae/Zuoken. There are very few exceptions to this. The really good thing about this is that when the players do run into something with psionics, the experience is something very different and unique.


Last edited by Cebrion on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, psionics are mainly a feature of Xan Yae's faith in my campaign also. There are occassional odd ball talents out there, but the only organized training is there.

Also, IMC, the monk class and its funky powers are a result of adapting psionic techniques to allow non psionics some limited access to the powers of the mind.
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Telas
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No psionics here, largely because of perceived game balance issues and partly because of "I don't want any more rules" issues. Wink I'm one of those who think they're overpowered
.

I'm even getting leery of Monks as adventurers in the classic sense. I know this is non-canon and runs against the current, but the D&D Monk simply doesn't fit in a pseudo-European world as a PC class. There's an element of game balance here, too: When you can't build anything close to a Monk using the Fighter class, there's a problem. I think the Monk should be relegated to the edges, like the Scarlet Brotherhood or Xan Yae's hidden minions.
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have the fact of "edel" (psionics) in my campaign, but I've never actually had a PC who had them so I really can't say anything about how balanced they are.

As for monks, I don't see what the problem with them is. The Flanaess is, imho, pretty vague as a 'pseudo Europe' for a lot of reasons. But even if you do prefer to make it more so, monks aren't that outre. There were tons of monks in Europe, some of which were ascetics with a variety of supposedly supernatural powers. And there were definitely martial artists. Of course, the two were not combined the way they were in Asia. But the world wouldn't implode if they did. I don't get the impression that monks are on every street corner in the Flanaess or anything.

The "I can't build a monk with a Fighter class" test I just don't get at all. You can't build a paladin or a barbarian with the Fighter class either, afaik. Though a fighter with Improved Unarmed Fighting, Weapon Focus: Unarmed, Weapon Spec: Unarmed, Dodge, and assorted two weapon fighting feats would be pretty effective. Nothing to match a monk, of course.
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Telas
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understood. I don't want to 'jack this topic, but my rationale is both crunchy (monks are very powerful in a low magic setting) and fluffy (monks as traditional adventurers don't make much sense - although "monks on missions" do make sense).

The "Fighter Test": If you could break a combat class' abilities down into feats (similar to True20), could you get reasonably close to that class with a Fighter build? Ranger or Barbarian: yes. Paladin: stretches it, but he has that code of honor thing. Monk: definite no. Again, don't want to 'jack the topic, and this is all my opinion. Wink To each his own.

The Psionics link is a 2nd level power, the equivalent of Hold Person. The spell gives a save every round; the power doesn't. That's big enough that in one game I played, the psionicist's player voluntarily changed his powers so as not to upset the game. Cool

T
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I understood what the fighter test was. Just not the why of it. Magic items and levels will greatly affect the balance between classes, certainly.
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gargoyle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used psionics ever since I picked up my old 1E PHB. I think psionics as presented now in the 3.5E are the best yet, although it does kind of lose some of that old 1E flavor (maybe, if you were really lucky, you'd get psionics). Still, as a big fan of Katherine Kurtz's Deryni, I love psionics! Its all how much you want to use it. And monks don't make much sense as adventurers in most midieval European settings, but they are an integral part of WoG (especially among the Bakluni).
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Lilith
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gargoyle, you could still have your players randomly roll for psionic abilities, just give them the Wild Talent feat if they're successful.
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gargoyle
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's just not the same... Confused
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Lilith
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gargoyle wrote:
That's just not the same... Confused

I know... Laughing So make up a "random psi abilities" section in character creation, limit it to 1st level abilities, with a chance to get two abilities or something like that.
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MikelAmroni
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilith wrote:
I know... Laughing So make up a "random psi abilities" section in character creation, limit it to 1st level abilities, with a chance to get two abilities or something like that.


Actually, its pretty easy. Anyone who wants psionics can choose the wild talent feat. Then, they can get a roll on a table to upgrade it to Hidden Talent. (Make up the table to your liking). They get one power and a few power points, nothing too powerful, only requires one feat choice (A great flavor thing for your humans), and make it a requirement to take any psionic class that you have to have wild talent at least, and a level in any other class. The only other change I would make, is if you allow the soulknife, make the wild talent it grants be hidden talent. Maximum, you get a character with two powers and a weapon that can't be completely taken away. That would likely be the ONLY way I'd allow anyone to take it twice, no matter what the EXPH says.

If you go with that option though, I'd make Wild Talent a regional feat. It make sense for some, but not for all. Perhaps a regional feat in several different regions, but definately a regional feat. Just my 2 cents, take em or leave, that's why we have the cup on the counter :)
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gargoyle
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I just let things lie as they are; psionic classes and the Wild Talent feat. I'm just saying things aren't quite the same as the old days when only if you were really lucky (or cheated Cool ) did you get ANY psionics, and then had to be really lucky (or cheat again) to get much out of it. Things are different now...
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gargoyle
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, in keeping with the original thread, I think psionics were always intended as a part of WoG, although a small part. Just take a look at the thought eater, intellect devourer, mind flayer and you can see psionics were always a part of WoG. The faiths of Xan Yae and Zuoken certainly supported such an option, too. I just think they were intended to be one of those rare, "quirk" things, not a major part of the game.

OK, I'm done prattling on....
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micron
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have played a psion shaper race elan and found it to be a very good character a strong wone but no stronger than a mage some spels and feats dont compare with the base setting but it has it weaknes like everything els

in the begining of the clas you can lose low level powers if you dont get youre psionic focus and stil with only 3 members in the part we stil had planty of TPK

the psionic character is a lonly character can mostly buf only himself with spels and has fore the most part only target spels no multipul targets or cones only singel targets and that is the weeknes

a strong character but you dont help the rest of the party members with your spels wich in the end is not the strength of the party

and if you take the complet divine and complete arcana of 3.5 then the psionic and arcane/divine characters level pretty wel

greatings micron
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micron
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have played a psion shaper race elan and found it to be a very good character a strong wone but no stronger than a mage some spels and feats dont compare with the base setting but it has it weaknes like everything els

in the begining of the clas you can lose low level powers if you dont get youre psionic focus and stil with only 3 members in the part we stil had planty of TPK

the psionic character is a lonly character can mostly buf only himself with spels and has fore the most part only target spels no multipul targets or cones only singel targets and that is the weeknes

a strong character but you dont help the rest of the party members with your spels wich in the end is not the strength of the party

and if you take the complet divine and complete arcana of 3.5 then the psionic and arcane/divine characters level pretty wel

greatings micron
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gargoyle
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a past campaign, I played a psion(telepath)/cleric/psychic theurge (from the WotC site). Very powerful character! I had the highest AC in the group, with no armor and no defensive magic items; AC 31, DR/4, Cold/Fire/Electric Resistance 10 each, and a 20% miss chance (true, that was a magic item), when fully "powered up".

That aside, I still feel that psionics has a place in Greyhawk, but the current 3.x system kind leaves out the "chance occurance" of the 1st edition version.
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Psioncs in GH, like Ragu!!! .... It's in there! Reply with quote

I know that it has been awhile, but I want to post this to the thread.

There is no doubt that EGG put psionics in the first outlines of GH. It was always there, appendix or not. In 2e, the Complete Psionics Handbook was very specific about saying that GH was a very psionic-integrated world. They were so typical, that a commoner might not be able to tell the difference between a wizard's charm spell, and a psion's charm power. It went so far as to actually refer to them (as a commoner would) as a "mind mage". Just about the only would that was MORE psionic than GH was Dark Sun... and that was easily 80% psionic - it showcased psionics. And in some power descriptions, like Know Location, the example actually gives reference to a psion in GH using it and names places specific to GH.

So, in answer to the question, if we use previous TSR material to set the precedent, then YES, by all means, GH is a VERY psionic world. And so it should remain.
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bubbagump
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a point. Psionics were there almost from the start, as the presence of the mind flayer and several similar psionic monsters attests. Gygax was also known to enjoy "cross-over" adventures that mixed genres such as fantasy and sci-fi.

That said, I do think there's sufficient evidence to suggest that Gygax intended for psionics to be a sideline sort of phenomenon. Note that there are absolutely no major PCs, NPCs, or similar figures that use psionics in the early writings. And I should point out that the 2e Complete Psionics Handbook was not one of Gygax's writings (Steve Winter wrote it). In fact, it was one of the writings that I and many other Grognards tend to think of as being nearly heretical inasmuch as it falls more in line with Sargent's way of defining Greyhawk rather than Gygax's. I think it's also pretty clear that most of the psionic monsters in the 1e Monster Manual had their psionic abilities added as an afterthought. Witness the fact that practically no psionic monsters appeared in any of the early published adventures.

Thus, IMO, you're both right and wrong. Psionics were a (nearly) original part of GH, but not, I think, to the extent that you seem to be suggesting.
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Soft-Paws
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny thing is everyone is right and a touch wrong.

The shocker I found out barely a week ago is that Gygax felt pushed into including psionics into D&D, and he did it only because others were somewhat badgering him to do so, and then he caved. Maybe that is why they were only introduced as an appendix and no one really did too much with them unless of course the party was going to encounter a mind flayer. At least no DM I played under cared to include them. Oh well. I like them and will use them in my 3.5 game.

Jim
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:12 am    Post subject: Re: Psionics in Greyhawk Reply with quote

My old gaming group mostly just ignored the psionics rules for PC. We had a few monsters like mind flayers use psionics but nothing for the PCs which suited us just fine plus it made the game feel more authentic in my mind.
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nijineko
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have always seen psionics in fantasy, maybe it just has to do with what i read as a youth. ^^

setting that aside, i have read/played all versions from the original little box up through 3.x, and even read a bit about psionics in 4th. psionics has been there since the beginning, regardless of reason; though i find that account of it being wedged in by popular acclaim rather than preference of mr. gygax interesting.

for those that find the older edition's version of psionics to be unbalanced, may i refer you to this excellent source, by a gentleman of the online-nick of "tesral" who has been playing for 25-30+ years, almost entirely in 1st and 2nd ed. he has recently been publishing his materials on his campaign world online. well balanced and well thought-out. very worth checking out, regardless of what system you play. this is a link to a post of his psionics section.

as for 3.x psionics, i have played them extensively, and find them to be adequately balanced on the caster side, with the semi-caster types falling behind other semi-casters from the phb. the requirement of expending focus, and the amount of time it takes to re-focus balances out the slightly lower cost of meta-effects. psionic combat now takes the same amount of time overall as magical combat, and the new system is mostly harmonized with other existing magical systems and related rules available in d&d.

i am always happy to help out with anyone wanting to understand psionics. feel free to pm or email me. just use my canonfire nick over on gmail. i've found psionics to be a fun and interesting addition to d&d. =D just another form of "magic" really. [/url]
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Varthalon
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always liked the idea of psi but have never liked the implementation. Erik Mona's old "Baklundish Delights' gives a good roleplaying reason for psionics in the campaign but mechanically:

1st edition it just overpowered.
2-3rd edition its just 'alternate magic'

I would love to see a balance psion class that is competely different that spellcasting. The best I've seen (and unfortunately I've lost track of my copy) was a homebrewed d20 system that based the powers on feats (accessing the different types of psionics and such) and skills (effecting how powerful you were in each type of psionics and how much control you had. It was a bit cumbersome to work with but had the virtue of not being overpowered or just magic by another name.

Where it was a skill and feat system it also allowed non-psions to learn some basic psionics, although at cross/class skill point costs.
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